You're pretty much on target. Many of the better gaming laptops employ a dedicated chipset and video ram. If you find "shared video memory", this is the sign that gaming isn't a good idea on that unit.
(when I say centrino i just mean P-M and wireless, not the 8-whatever chipset)
Well There are some centrino gaming reviews out there but not many. Dell 8600 being the most common, but beside that not much. I can't seem to find any good P-M 1.7, 1G ram, 128 9600/9700 reviews. A centrino notebook is not going to be as good as desktop, or P4 3+ or Athlon64 notebooks but is it really going to be that much worse? I mean it was my understanding that with a streamlined XP it was actually the Gfx card that was the bottle neck and not the cpu. From the few reviews I have read I don't see a really big difference. Granted a notebook will always be slower than a desktop, and the p4 EE will beat out p-m in a frames per second battle. But will the P-m really slow down your performance if you have a P-M 1.7 and 256 9700(hypothetical)? Do centrino notebooks actually use the DDR 400 or are they like the Athlon64 books and only run at 333? I can't speak from experience except from having a big, heavy, underpowered notebook right now. It would be nice to have a gaming notebook where you could watch a dvd on battery without having cutout after 80mins .
I guess my real question is how much worse are centrino laptops at gaming than the hulking, powersucking DTR's (no offense intended)
6.5 pounds, 1.2" thick, 1.7 pm, ati 128 9700, 15.4" wxga, user upgradable cpu, Motherboard supports new Dothan cpu's(next generation P-M), wireless g, decent price